/// An initiative of Boston LISC and other public and private partners


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Melissa Jones, Program Officer

Melissa Jones joined Boston LISC as a Program Officer for the Resilient Communities/Resilient Families and Community Safety Initiatives. In her role, she helps provide long term funding to three neighborhood coalitions in Boston to plan for their future, develop local community leadership and entrepreneurship, and implement community projects in the neighborhood’s vision.  The processes, Millennium 10 in Codman Square, Mission 180 in Roxbury, and Mattapan United in Mattapan, have engaged hundreds across their neighborhoods, offered mini grants to promising leaders, and advocated for transit and other priorities.  They have also piloted new programs for youth, green space, safety that are growing into bigger neighborhood activities.  The coalition’s events and meetings help neighbors get to know each other and neighborhood issues.  In the coming years, the initiative plans to expand its supports for the development of affordable housing, commercial space, business incubators/accelerators, and charter schools, and other public facilities.  Melissa has a strong interest in financial empowerment, and she also manages Boston LISC’s Financial Opportunity Center and Entrepreneurship training and Pitch contest programming.

Prior to LISC, Melissa worked for the City of Oakland and City of Alameda in California, as well as in non profit agencies focused on community development and youth.  She holds a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, East Bay and a BA from Northeastern University.

Juan Carlos Canales, Mission 180 Lead Organizer

Juan Carlos Canales has worked in community development organizations in Dorchester and Allston-Brighton on different issues around affordable housing and development without displacement. He believes that the place where residents live, work, and play should be protected for the future, and is fighting for residents who are at risk of being pushed out of their neighborhoods by the market forces. Juan Carlos has also worked on campaigns for civic engagement, immigrant rights, green areas/open spaces, and other efforts to create an environment that embraces the diversity of the neighborhoods. He speaks Spanish as a first language, English as a second language and conversational Portuguese, and has a BS in Mass Media from Emerson College in Boston.

Tremayne Youmans, Millennium Ten Lead Organizer

Tremayne Youmans has joined Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation as the Millennium Ten Coordinator. As the coordinator, Tremayne helps in planning and supporting all Millennium Ten champions in implementing their projects that addresses the twenty eight different strategies outlined in the Millennium Ten community contract. These projects include The Crossroads Café, Eco-innovation District, Financial Opportunity Network, Youth Job Hub, Men of Color/Men of Action, Mini-Grants, and the Washington Street Business Corridor.

Tremayne’s previous work experience is in community development, public affairs, and program management. Specifically his work has focused on public safety, arts and culture, and community revitalization in lower income neighborhoods.  He holds a Master of Urban Affairs degree from Boston University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Nova Southeastern University. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Business Management from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Cynthia Lewis, Mattapan United Lead Organizer

Before joining Mattapan United, Cynthia Lewis was the Program Director of the Roxbury Multi-Service Center Family House Shelter.  With over 20 years of extensive background in administrative budgeting, strategic planning, program/project development and grant writing, Cynthia is excited to work for tangible change in MU's seven action areas.  As a long time resident of Mattapan, she takes pride in serving her community and looks forward to initiating, developing and managing partnerships with schools, grassroots entities, businesses, elected officials and city, state and federal agencies to provide a wraparound approach to ensure projects and programs are not only successful, but have a far-reaching impact in the community. Cynthia earned her BA from Spelman College in Atlanta.